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SSI2-123: SETI: The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence: Find Articles

Research Practice!

Often times our interest in a subject can be piqued by hearing about a new discovery or recent development. Let's take a look at this article about a radio signal that was detected near the end of 2020, and then use it as a jumping off point to do more research. 

Here is a link to the article, or see below for a PDF version. 

Astronomers Are Keeping a Close Watch on the Next Star Over- by Marina Koren, The Atlantic, Jan 11, 2021

1) Read the article, then we can use this spreadsheet to collaboratively answer the following two questions: 

  • What are the major facts/takeaways from this article? 
  • What are the unanswered questions that remain about this recent discovery? 

2) As a group, pick something from the class list to explore further, then work together to do some research on that subtopic. You can do a Google search, you can use a database to look for news articles or scholarly articles, you can use the library catalog to look for's up to you!  Within your group, fill out the second tab of spreadsheet: SSI2-123 SETI: Fall 2021 Research Exercise 


What's a secondary source?

In secondary sources, authors analyze and interpret primary source materials. 

Secondary sources can be scholarly or popular.  Scholarly sources (sometimes called "academic" or "peer-reviewed" sources) are written by and for experts and typically include bibliographies and citations.  Popular sources are written for a general, non-expert audience and can be authored by anyone.

Key Databases

Research in Google Scholar

Google Scholar can be a powerful search tool, but it can be inconsistent in its coverage, so it is best if used for supplemental research. It can also be useful for finding related research if you've already found one good article. 

Gale Virtual Reference Library


Need background information on a topic? You may want to start your search for background information by looking up your general topic (such as 'particle physics' or 'semiconductors') in Gale Virtual Reference Library which includes the full text of over 100 encyclopedias, including the Mcgraw-Hill Dictionary of Science and Technology. 


Search Primo